Lincoln High Street footbridge delayed again after discovery of high levels of asbestos

Work to build a footbridge over the level crossing on Lincoln High Street has been delayed by at least eight weeks by Network Rail due to the discovery of high levels of asbestos.

The development of the new pedestrian footbridge began in March this year, with an expected finish date of February 2016.

Alongside the start of the work came a set of substantial traffic restrictions, and the next phase signalled the demolition of the former Sleep Shop to create the bridge and lift facilities.

Traffic restrictions will remain in place until the completion of the project.

While Network Rail state two asbestos surveys were carried out prior to work starting on site, they did not reveal the full extent of the level of asbestos present.

The new High Street level crossing bridge is now expected to open in May 2016.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Due to the discovery of high levels of asbestos found by our contractor at 179 High Street, which is due to be partially demolished to allow the new footbridge to be constructed, the project will now take an extra eight weeks to complete.

“This is to ensure that those working on the site are safe from harm and to allow for the asbestos to be removed from the site in the correct way.

“We share the frustration of those who are looking forward to enjoying the benefits that new bridge will bring and we apologise for the delay, but hope that people understand the need to make sure this work is carried out safely to protect those who are constructing the new bridge.”

The bridge was part of a scheme which was also set to develop a pedestrian footbridge over the Brayford Wharf East level crossing, initially planned for a 2013 completion.

After a number of delays, this project was shelved by the operator after stating it was no longer affordable.

Network Rail and stakeholders involved in the construction of the Brayford Wharf East bridge are meeting later this month to discuss the latest proposals.

A number of leaders and councillors in the area previously voiced concerns as schemes grind to a halt across the board.